Law School Discussion

Should I be this concerned for only T3/T4 options?

Should I be this concerned for only T3/T4 options?
« on: April 18, 2008, 12:37:11 PM »
Hello All,

I have been a legal assistant/paralegal for the last four-to-five years for the same woman who has now become partner at a different DC firm from where I started.  She asked me to work with her and so here I am.  I am now applying to law schools and so far only T3 and T4 schools are giving me the time of day.  I honestly don't do well on standardized tests (scored a 147) but have done well in school (3.30 GPA, cum laude, National Honors Society, MPA from NYU).

My question is, should I be freaked out so much right now about only being accepted to T3/T4 schools?  I would like to transfer after the 1st year but I know everyone else will be gunning for the same thing.  My boss here (the partner) loves me, as well as her husband who is also a partner at a different firm just down the street here in DC, and then the other partner at the previous firm that I worked for also likes me.  Should I count on these "connections" or be as stressed out as I am right now?

Thank you in advance for all of your comments.

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 12:46:23 PM »
It sounds like the partner is a real mentor to you, and you should have a candid conversation with her - not about getting you a job but about what she thinks your options would be. Also bear in mind that if these are biglaw firms a partner can't rubber stamp you into a job. It's certainly a leg up but you need to be in the ball park academically of what they usually take. That might not be true everywhere but it is true in my experience.

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 12:52:11 PM »
Thank you for your response. 

Yes, all 3 firms are in DC (the one I work for now with her, the 1 I worked for before with her and her husband's firm) and all 3 are Biglaw firms.  I do not expect to be handed a job on a silver platter, but I was wondering if the connections would at least wipe away some of the stress from attending a T3/T4 (assuming I do not end up transferring down the road)?.

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 12:53:32 PM »
Thank you for your response. 

Yes, all 3 firms are in DC (the one I work for now with her, the 1 I worked for before with her and her husband's firm) and all 3 are Biglaw firms.  I do not expect to be handed a job on a silver platter, but I was wondering if the connections would at least wipe away some of the stress from attending a T3/T4 (assuming I do not end up transferring down the road)?.

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2008, 12:57:46 PM »
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2008, 01:03:35 PM »
Woops, sorry, your screen only half appeared on my computer.  To answer all of your questions:


What was your UG institution? UMass Amherst

How long have you been out? Graduated UMass in '97, NYU in '03

Why both an MPA and a JD? I was initially in government/politics but have been working in transactional law (structured finance) for the last 5-6 years

How many times have you taken the LSAT? I have taken the LSAT twice

Did you put enough time into studying for it (some people study for several hours per week for months) or are you actually bad at standardized tests? Can you use your GRE and SAT to back that claim up?  Yes, I studied my ass off.  I scored an 860 on the SATs.  I met guys on the UMass basketball team who scored higher than I did ;-)

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2008, 01:14:11 PM »
What do you actually want to do as a lawyer? If you are dead set on going to work at biglaw, yeah you should probably be freaked out. On the other hand, your good connections could probably help you get a job at a smaller firm.

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 01:15:15 PM »
Savage,

I wrote a pretty strong statement regarding my poor test taking performance and also an explanation why I am deciding to go from an MPA to the JD. 

Matthies,

I am considering going PT for exactly the reasons you stated.  My boss here REALLY loves me and I know I will always have a paralegal job here.  I just don't want to assume that she'll have a summer associate/junior associate spot lined up for me. 

To everyone else, it is interesting to note that several of the attorneys in my capital markets group, including my boss, either went to U. of Maryland or Howard (not black by the way..thought that was interesting), and one went to McGill U. in Toronto.

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 01:19:00 PM »
themanwithnoname,

I would like to continue working in transactional law, specifically fixed-income and other types of structured-finance securities.  However, because I have traveled alot, especially to Hong Kong and Thailand, I am considering transactional law in Asia down the road (FAR down the road).

Re: Worried About My T3/T4 Options
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 01:21:36 PM »
McGill is in Montreal, and is one of the top schools in Canada. Recruiting wise it actually does as well as a low T! in the states. Maryland is a T1 as well. Howard is a T3 and I certainly won't tell you that you absolutely can't get a good job coming out of an especially well regarded T3 (like Howard), the fact is that it is very difficult and the odds are against it. You should not go to law school counting on being in the top 5%. Do you speak Chinese? b/c that could help with recruiting somewhat.